25th March 2019. The Metropole of Lyon is the newest partner to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index). The GDS-Index is a multi-stakeholder partnership to accelerate the sustainable development of international meeting destinations and management practices in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.


The GDS-Index is delighted to announce that Lyon has joined the Global Destination Sustainability Index.  Lyon - the “Capital of French Gastronomy” is the 48th city to have joined the GDS-Index and is participating in the collaborative platform to:

  • Benchmark the sustainability of their destination and their meeting and events industry
  • Improve the sustainability strategy of their Convention Bureau and Destination Management Organizations
  • Engage and inspire clients to prize destinations with solid event sustainability initiatives
  • Share their responsible business initiatives and best practices with their clients, peers and other key stakeholders

Guy Bigwood, Managing Director for the GDS-Index comments:

“Over the last few years we have seen an increasing focus from the French meetings industry towards sustainability. Lyon is exemplary of this pioneering spirit and leadership, and we are delighted to have the City of Lights as the second French destination in our expanding global platform.”

Lyon is not only globally recognized for its rich history, gastronomy and picturesque beauty, it is also the 2019 European Smart Tourism Capital. This EU award recognises outstanding achievements by European tourism destinations in four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation, and cultural heritage and creativity.

Highlighting why Lyon has chosen to participate on the GDS Index, Valérie Ducaud, Lyon Convention Bureau Manager said:

“The city of Lyon is very happy to join the GDS Index. Our participation aims to build on top of our selection as the European Smart Tourism Capital, and accelerate our efforts to boost digital innovation, accessibility and environmental stewardship, and to work to become an even more sustainable and smart events destination.”

For more information please contact:

Guy Bigwood

Managing Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index


Valérie Ducaud

Lyon Convention Bureau Manager – ONLYLYON Tourism and Conventions




The mission of the Global Destination Sustainability Index is to engage, inspire and empower Destination Management Organisations and Convention Bureaus to develop effective strategies and practices in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. The GDS-Index is a multi-stakeholder partnership initiated by pioneering Scandinavian Cities with leading event industry organisations (IMEX, MCI, the International Congress and Convention Association and European Cities Marketing). Currently 48 destinations across 5 continents are participating in the GDS-Index

The GDS-Index helps Destination Management Organisations and Convention Bureaus to improve their destinations’ sustainability strategy by benchmarking; providing consulting, training and tools; building a global community of Destination Management professionals to share insights and promote best practice interchange; and by recognising innovation and achievement through an annual awards programme. The GDS-Index aims to drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices across 100 cities by 2020. Find out more at


In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are a blueprint and a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

European Cities Marketing (ECM)

European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of the leading cities of Europe. ECM provides a platform for Leisure, Meetings Industry and City Marketing professionals

to exchange knowledge, best practices and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is linking the interests of members from more than 100 major cities in 36 countries. More information can be found on



ICCA -the International Congress and Convention Association- is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in almost 100 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities. Find out more at



IMEX is the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. We bring the global meetings industry together in one place at one time, twice a year. IMEX in Frankfurt 2019 will take place at Messe Frankfurt from 21 -23 May 2019, with EduMonday, its pre-show day of learning and insights on Monday 20 May. IMEX America 2019, America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings & events, will be held in September this year – taking place 10 – 12 September 2019 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at The Venetian® | The Palazzo®, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI on 9 September.



MCI is the global leader in engaging and activating audiences. Our business is founded on a simple human insight: When people come together, magic happens. This magic is called community. Since 1987 we have been bringing people together through inspiring meetings, events, congresses and association management. MCI helps organizations harness the power of community by applying our strategic engagement and activation solutions to build unforgettable online and offline experiences that foster change, inspire, educate and enhance business performance. MCI is an independently owned company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and a global presence. Our +2,300 professionals in 62 offices and 31 countries work with clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa. Find out more at